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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1946
    Reference No: 3131
    Movement No: 97'330
    Case No: 472'847
    Model Name: 'Bubble back'
    Material: 14k yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic
    Bracelet/Strap: Brown leather strap
    Dimensions: 32 mm. diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Provenance: Property from An Important Collector
    Literature: For another example of reference 3131, however with standard dial, please see The Best of Time Rolex Wristwatches by James M. Dowling and Jeffrey P. Hess, page 87.

  • Provenance

    Property from An Important Collector

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Rolex Perpetual was first introduced in 1934 and retailed for 30 percent more than the 18 carat gold Prince, illustrating Rolex's believe in this new model. The reference 3131 bubble back is fitted with sweep centre seconds, which at the time gave this particular bubble back a much more modern look.

    This reference 3131 is a gorgeous piece of history in fabulously original condition. The case is unpolished with crisp gold marks and numbers between the lugs. The original unrestored dial with two-tone finish is very charismatic and good looking. The most important and rarest feature about this Bubble back, however, is the word Centigraph signed to the centre of its dial.

    The word, Centigraph, is seldom seen on any bubble back with sweep centre seconds and it is difficult to find examples in literature. One can assume the word, Centigraph, was to explain the new centre seconds hand, which upgraded the perpetual bubble back, which was usually fitted with the standard subsidiary seconds.

  • Artist Biography

    Rolex

    Swiss • 1905

    Founded in 1905 England by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis as Wilsdorf & Davis, it soon became known as the Rolex Watch Company in 1915, moving its headquarters to Geneva in 1919. Like no other company, the success of the wristwatch can be attributed to many of Rolex's innovations that made them one of the most respected and well-known of all luxury brands. These innovations include their famous "Oyster" case — the world's first water resistant and dustproof watch case, invented in 1926 — and their "Perpetual" — the first reliable self-winding movement for wristwatches launched in 1933. They would form the foundation for Rolex's Datejust and Day-Date, respectively introduced in 1945 and 1956, but also importantly for their sports watches, such as the Explorer, Submariner and GMT-Master launched in the mid-1950s.

    One of its most famous models is the Cosmograph Daytona. Launched in 1963, these chronographs are without any doubt amongst the most iconic and coveted of all collectible wristwatches. Other key collectible models include their most complicated vintage watches, including references 8171 and 6062 with triple calendar and moon phase, "Jean Claude Killy" triple date chronograph models and the Submariner, including early "big-crown" models and military-issued variants.

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Ref. 3131
An extremely fine and very rare yellow gold wristwatch with sweep centre seconds and two-tone champagne "centigraph" dial

1946
32 mm. diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
HK$80,000 - 120,000 

Contact Specialist
Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2030
[email protected]

Ziyong Ho
Specialist
+852 9386 2032
[email protected]

Jill Chen
Specialist
+852 2318 2033
[email protected]

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: ONE

Hong Kong Auction 1 December 2015 11am